219.  Subject: FW: Two-Way Bilingual Immersion Spanish Evaluation.
I am a coordinator of an established 90/10 Spanish - English Two-Way Program and received your holiday card with the flyer for your web site.  Thank you for your wonderful resources and information!   When we started this program, evaluation was via portfolio and the current focus on standardized testing didn't exist. For the ten years of our program we have done whatever the State (CA) and the District have mandated and used SABE. Now the District prefers not to fund the costs for the testing but we know we need to evaluate the students' growth in Spanish as well as English (for ELLs that is via STAR, CELDT and our District test)..... My principal, the original visionary of the program, is leaning toward trying to use a foreign language model type evaluation. He'd like somehow to rate the fifth graders against a Spanish 1 or 2 level text evaluation so that as they enter middle school where the program continues through 8th grade, they'll have some measure or predictor of what level Spanish class they can take.  Our first small cohort in high school this year are taking Spanish 4 and most are quite bored.  With all this background, here is the basic question: What is the best way to evaluate/document the Spanish language and academic growth of our K-8 students? (Both SLLs and ELLs) ¡Mil gracias por su apoyo!

THANK YOU for your commitment to serve ALL students in your well thought-out program. Also ¡¡¡Muchísimas gracias!!!  for your interest in my programs and services offered through my Web Sites. 

My thanks to you for visiting the Web Sites! Should you find this type of service helpful to you and the teachers in your program, school and/or district, I will be delighted to set up a service contract so I can answer all questions from ALL of you!

The answer to your very precise question is provided to you as a courtesy for your kind consideration.

You are indeed pioneers!!! BUT:

Notice that you are thinking of two different kinds of measures. If you wish to measure knowledge and skills attained up to the end of the fifth grade, you may wish to design a test totally based on and correlated with instruction --an achievement test.

As a "predictor" of future performance in Spanish in grades 6th through 8th, you may have to design a test that measures base-knowledge and skills of objectives to be mastered by the end of the eighth grade, that is, you are looking for base-line entry skills information of objectives to be mastered by the end of the eighth grade. It may be that your fifth grade exit objectives are very similar to your eighth grade exit objectives in which case, one instrument would accomplish both purposes, measuring growth and predicting success. 

Since your main concern is "to evaluate/document" growth up to fifth grade in   (1) Spanish language skills and  (2) content area knowledge to be demonstrated through Spanish,  such a test should be entirely based on instruction and should reflect as closely as possible what your teachers have taught and what your objectives for Spanish language and content areas are up to fifth grade.

A well designed in-house test that takes into account extensive teacher input may be the BEST instrument for your evaluation and documentation. As coordinator, having intimate knowledge of what teachers have taught, you could --with the teachers' help and input-- design a test that includes listening, speaking, reading and writing as well as specific knowledge of content areas.

Later on, as students continue their studies in both languages in middle school, you could correlate the results of your program-specific test with the students' results in other tests they may take in 6th, 7th and 8th grade, or with specific end-of-course-grades (A/B/C/D/F) the students may receive in middle school Spanish AND content area courses. By having a fifth grade test that closely matches your instruction, and correlating the results of that test with subsequent student performance, you can determine areas of strength and weaknesses in your instructional program and make appropriate changes.

You can also correlate fifth grade test results to affective measures such as "boredom" in subsequent grades. For sure you need to share your test results and correlations with middle school teachers since they may need to modify their program on the basis of the results and correlations you obtain at the end of fifth grade.

Hope this answer helps!!! My most sincere admiration to ALL of you for such an extraordinary effort to so fully enrich the
lives of your students through dual language learning!!!




For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
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5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

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Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.


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